Are YOU Caring Too Much About the Wrong Concerns?
I coach Emerging Leaders as a part of my profession. Often, these delightful and talented young professionals will open up to me and share the things that are keeping them from sleeping at night. I am appalled by the frequency with which they report to me that they are stuck, and feel powerless to move forward because of some crazy thing going on with their boss, or with imagined fears of what the boss might be thinking. Quite literally, these good and capable people are performing at far less than their real capacity because they are hung up on the opinions of others when they are doing things right, and working hard. I wish I had a magic pill I could give them so that they could break through and speak their minds and ask the questions that need to be asked to set them free. Today’s article is designed to be that magic pill…
Choose to Believe in Yourself, First: With each day that goes by, I encounter another example or two where a talented young Emerging Leader is hamstrung by what they fear “other people” are thinking about them, and their work, and their efforts. Realize this, you can believe in yourself, and always do what you believe is best for your company, your department, your team, and your teammates. Have the courage to take action to pursue the things that really matter most. If you are always doing what you believe is right, and what is best for everyone, then you don’t ever have to apologize for anything except perhaps poor execution of your best efforts. You simply MUST stand for something in life, and my recommendation is to stand for doing the right things, the very best that you can do. It might work out great, or it might not go so well, but in any case, your intentions will be above reproach. And best of all, you will have one less thing to worry about.
Speak Up, and Find Your Courage to Ask for Feedback: Every day, another Emerging Leader tells themselves to keep their head low in the foxhole and wait for feedback from the boss about how they are doing. There is too much deference in the world for not asking the big questions of your boss, in my experience. Too many Emerging Leaders don’t know the answer to the question, “So how do you think your boss thinks you’re doing?”. That is inexcusable. Get clear about how you’re doing by summoning up the courage to ask your boss how you’re doing. Ask for a brief meeting today, and arrive prepared to tell your leader the 3-5 most important things you’re working on, what you’ve accomplished, and what you’re working on next. Then, quickly state that you are endeavoring to deliver strong results to solve problems for your boss and the team. Good so far? Then go in for the close, and ask your boss if she’d mind giving you some feedback about what you’re doing well, what she’d like to see you improve upon, and what she’d like to see you try next. No matter what she says, you are better off than if you leave this to chance. The first step to greater results is to operate with greater clarity around what is most important. Asking your boss for feedback on how you’re performing sets you up for greater performance in the next game. You can do this…
Do Your Best, and Let the Rest Take Care of Itself: You cannot control what others think about you, no matter how much you try. So, don’t worry about that. Instead, worry about the things that ARE within your control. Focus on the most important stuff and focus on giving it your very best effort every time. Focus on the big stuff and don’t allow yourself to care so much, and get hung up on what everybody else thinks about how you’re doing. Frankly, they probably aren’t as interested in your performance as you think they might be, and if you’re too worried about how you’re being viewed by others, you’re not focused enough about what is really important, and what REALLY matters. With a little perspective, you begin to realize that the things that bring you your greatest insecurities and fears are irrational and just don’t really matter that much. Don’t waste your time, and your best energy worrying about others. Worry about the person you can control. Worry about yourself and work to do everything you can to be a positive and aggressive part of the solution.
Be comfortable being yourself and making YOUR priorities start with what’s best for everyone. When you consistently align your actions and your behaviors with what is best for everyone, you don’t have to worry much about criticism and second-guessing. Get busy doing your best work, and focus on doing the right things, again and again and again. The rest will take care of itself.
Michael is passionate about helping Emerging Leaders to raise the level of their game in business environments. Michael coaches Emerging Leaders for companies and organizations all over the United States. His Emerging Leaders program is so incredibly solid that he offers clients a firm guarantee. What are YOU doing to develop the next generation of leaders in YOUR organization? If you are not doing anything, or if you fear you are not doing enough to ensure the success of your next generation of leaders, you really need to reach out to Michael at email@example.com.